Although death metal legionnaires Hyperdontia call Copenhagen, Denmark home base their members hails musicians from beyond Denmark with ties to Polish and Turkish death metal scenes alike; The collaborative destruction on offer is as palpably brutal as you’d expect with ex-members of Burial Invocation alongside key current members of Sulphurous, Phrenelith, Undergang, and Decaying Purity. The style is difficult to parse out initially as the band have jetted beyond the Adramelech-meets-Incantation style heard on the ‘Abhorrence Veil’ (2017) EP and aim for an intricately brutal morass no less doomed in tone but increasingly frantic in it’s ejection of guitar ideas. ‘Nexus of Teeth’ is an imposing brick in the great wall of brutally old school Danish death metal that constantly threatens to shake loose and land upon the skull of the listener; Whether or not their sound makes jelly of your brain or crumbles at your feet will likely boil down to it’s multi-directional flow of riffs and mildly haphazard arrangement.
Although the 90’s offered no true haven for notable death metal groups in København, today it’s suburbs consistently inspire some of the more rabid and interesting death metal in recent memory. Still, I’d argue we haven’t been slapped in the face by a true classic yet. ‘Nexus of Teeth’ is more or less on that same playing field where it’s chugging, riff-intense complexity is a damn good death metal ‘riff album’ but doesn’t have any incredible attributes that stand out from the pack. That doesn’t make Hyperdontia‘s bounding between the more atmospheric efforts of Incantation and the technical aggression of early Monstrosity any less valuable and no doubt the attack on display will satisfy the brutal-leaning old school death metal crowd.
Phrenelith and Undergang vocalist David Torturdød provides a guttural Craig Pillard-esque growl that only adds mud to the down-tuned and moderately technical riffing that drives the ‘Nexus of Teeth’ experience and this ends up sounding a bit like a lost Goreaphobia record as a result. “Of Spire and Thorn” takes this sound and begins to channel a sort of ‘Gateways to Annihilation’ atmosphere with grinding breaks into ‘Diabolical Conquest’ territory; These sort of moments and personal references fueled my interest in sorting out Hyperdontia‘s detailed compositions but much like Taphos and Phrenelith more care seems placed on atmospheric effect and the details of each song begin blur into a larger non-statement when considering the full listen. The slapping, mildly distant clank of Paweł Tunkiewicz’ (Phrenelith, Sulphurous, Redivivus) drum kit initially provides some much needed texture beyond the guitar’s insistent forward-flow but with repeated listening it’s hits become a small annoyance due to a thin higher register and faint double-bass presence.
In becoming spoiled by so many impressive death metal albums this year the bar for this sort of death metal is set higher than usual. Without any particularly distinct elements other than a hurried, brutal Danish attack Hyperdontia‘s first record didn’t end up leaving a lasting impression upon me. I wouldn’t discount the talent on display here nor suggest that ‘Nexus of Teeth’ is anything less than above-average death metal, it just didn’t stick with me after several listens. For preview I would suggest “Existence Denied”, “Teeth and Nails”, and “Of Spire and Thorn” for a summation of the album’s oeuvre.
Calcified and shattered. 3.5/5.0
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